First Selectman: Be Carfeul, Be Patient, Curfew Will Be Lifted Shortly [Update]

New Canaan residents are asked to heed roadblocks and police tape on hazardous roads.

Updated 7:09 p.m.

"The clean-up has begun and the curfew will be lifted shorty," First Selectman Jeb Walker told Patch.

He said that as of 7 p.m., 70 percent of New Canaan homes are without power and 700,000 residences across the state are without power. Walker said that the process of restoring power to the town could take several days, but that he would do anything he could to accelerate efforts.

"If you see a downed wire anywhere, assume it is live," he said. "Be careful and be patient as we work our way through this difficult situation."

Updated, 4:40 p.m.

crews are currently out accessing damage in areas that were heavily damaged by the Sunday storm, including Canoe Hill, Ferris Hill and Turner Hill roads, Selectman Rob Mallozzi told Patch.

He added that the police and fire departments, as well as CERT, are out trying to block and barricade all hazardous conditions on roads.

"Please don’t remove any police tape," he said. "Respect the efforts the town is making to keep residents safe."

If conditions improve, the shelter at will be shut down on Monday, Mallozzi said. New Canaan's curfew is still in effect and the OEM will meet at 7 p.m. tonight.

According to , could reopen as soon as Monday if power is restored.

Updated, 12:59 p.m.

According to Fire Marshal Baker, there are currently 130 trees down and 70 roads closed. He added that heavy winds are still expected Sunday afternoon and that it is likely that the town curfew would not be lifted until tomorrow morning.

He also said that residents are making good use of OEM's Facebook page. Since the page was created 48 hours ago, Baker said that it has gained 600 "likes."

Candace Karl, Nick Williams, Rob Mallozzi and Nick Howard, the student who set up the page, are just a few of the residents that have asked or answered questions on the page, Baker said.

Updated, 12:16 p.m.

The following is a statement released by the New Canaan Office of Emergency Management:

Hurricane Irene has made landfall and high winds are expected throughout the day.  Multiple roads are closed due to downed trees – many involving power lines.  Until the winds abate and it is safe for crews to venture out, clean-up cannot begin.  Assessment of damage will begin as soon as safely possible.  Until that is done there are many unmarked wires on the ground that should be considered live!

For the safety of all residents, a curfew remains in effect until further notice.  No one should be driving or walking on the roads. 

Due to the multiple road closures, the response of emergency services will be extremely limited and calls are being taken on a case by case basis.

Currently CL&P is reporting 68% of New Canaan to be without power and over 500,000 throughout the state.   If you have lost power please contact Northeast Utilities to report the outage at 1-800-286-2000 or you can go on-line to www.cl-p.com.   Town Hall will be closed on Monday and Public Schools and Saint A’s have canceled for Tuesday. 

For storm related, non-emergency questions, please call the Emergency Operations Center at 203-594-4100.  This number can also be used for residents to report any structural damage to their homes.   911 should be used for emergency calls only.

Following is a list of safety tips to help get through the next few days:

  • Stay away from downed trees – live power lines may be involved.  Metal fences and guardrails may also become energized.
  • Avoid using candles if you lose power.  If you must, never leave them unattended and keep them away from combustibles.
  • If you have a portable generator, make sure it is outside and if you are back-feeding your home through an outlet, make sure that you turn off the main breaker to avoid back-feeding the street, thereby endangering workers trying to restore power.

It is expected that it will be several days before some roads are cleared and as long as a week before full power is restored.  Residents are requested to be patient and check on neighbors.

Use the following sources for additional information:

Town website at www.newcanaan.info

Channel 79, the Town’s cable access channel

WICC 600 am

WNLK 1350 am

On facebook at www.newcanaanoem.com

Updated, 11:50 a.m.

Fred Baker, the fire marshal, said the curfew is still in effect for New Cannan and roads are still impassable — officials have not yet been able to assess their condition.

Weather-wise, the rain may have subsided but the winds are still considerable and forecasted to continue to through the afternoon and even into the evening.

Officials are asking residents to call in and report any damage to their home at 203-594-4100.

So far only one call for damage has been made — for a tree which toppled onto a home on Graystone Circle but did not fall through the roof.

CL&P is reporting at least 5,760 New Canaan homes are still without power. 

Updated, 10:06 a.m.

"It’s been surprisingly quiet," Fire Marshal Baker told Patch. "Few alarms have come in and we're talking calls on a case-by-case basis. The rain should be stopping soon, but there will be heavy winds throughout the afternoon. The storm's been downgraded to a tropical storm and the eye [of the storm] should over us very soon."

Baker added that there are few cars on the road in spite of the town curfew and that the only place open is Kean’s Mobil Mart.

CL&P officials say there are more than 400,000 customers without power in the state. United Illuminating has about 100,000 customers out of power this morning.

Original Story

Approximately 4,819 homes, or 57 percent, in New Canaan are currently without power as Hurricane Irene closes in on the area, according to published reports. Forty-five roads in the town are closed.

The town began making calls to residents at 8 a.m. Sunday morning to inform them that the curfew imposed at midnight to keep everyone off of the roads remains in effect until further notice.

"Police officers have been withdrawn from the roadways and fire and EMS calls are being responded to on a case-by-case basis depending on severity and accessibility," Michael Handler, New Canaan's emergency management director, told Patch. "Downed wires are live and should not be touched. Stay indoors."

According to Fire Marshal Fred Baker, a tree fell on a house at Graystone Circle, but no injuries were reported.

"So far, the winds have been lower than expected," he told Patch. "The most powerful winds in town have been at about 45 mph. We've been told that the storm is expected to make landfall in Stamford and that east of the storm, the winder is higher and the rain is less, and to the west, there's more rain and less powerful winds."

The town's emergency management team is using its Facebook page to inform residents of road closures.

S Tadik September 01, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Has the curfew been lifted yet? Did anybody call or email? When?


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